This fall, Creighton Lawyer will feature the stories of four Creighton law alumni who have found career success in JD-advantaged professions. As a teaser to what’s to come, Julia Hebenstreit, JD’05, executive director of the Kim Foundation in Omaha, shares why she chose a less traditional career path with her juris doctor degree.
“I went to law school with a strong interest in First Amendment law and education law, but over time I realized that practicing law in the traditional sense wouldn’t align with what I needed in terms of my family situation, so I looked at other ways I could utilize the skills and knowledge I gained and still find a meaningful career path,” Hebenstreit said.
In her first job out of law school, Hebenstreit worked on a congressional campaign and gained experience in fundraising, volunteer management, policy and office management.
“I realized politics might not really be my thing, but that job gave me skills that would transfer nicely into the nonprofit field for a mission-driven organization,” Hebenstreit recalled. “That’s the path I took and I’ve been quite fulfilled doing so.”
The Kim Foundation is a family foundation that focuses on mental health and suicide prevention.
“Having a law degree for this role has benefitted me when it comes to research and information application to policy and legislative activity that I monitor on a state and federal level,” Hebenstreit said. “I also work closely with law enforcement and believe that my degree and experience help legitimize those relationships and their faith in me that I have a better understanding of the system,” she added.